I’ve been reading a lot of stories online lately pinning women against other women and I’m sick of it. It’s time to support and celebrate female friendships, especially on June 8, which just happens to be Best Friends Day.
Curl up with your BFFs and a bag of extra buttery popcorn this weekend, and indulge in a weekend-long BFF movie marathon. And I mean the BEST of best friend movies.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
An introverted freshman named Charlie is introduced to a whole new world in high school by his new besties. He copes with his first love and tries to come to terms with a dark secret from his past. The film stars Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson. Read the book first so you and your bestie can compare the case and screenplay to what you imagined while you were reading.
Now and Then
Remember when summers used to tick by sooo slowly and all you relied on was your imagination for entertainment? Four childhood friends unite as troubled adults in this coming of age story that has an eerie Nancy Drew quality to it. Set in 1970, these 12-year-olds conduct a séance to find out how a young boy called Dear Johnny was killed in their neighborhood. With death, divorce, young love and an unbelievable cast (Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith, Thora Birch, Christina Ricci and Rosie O’Donnell), you and your friends will yearn for your younger years, reminiscing about the crazy stuff you dreamed up as a kid. Oh, and it also has one of the coolest biking scenes in the history of the world that I always want to replicate.
Probably featuring some of the most badass, unapologetic women on the list — both in the movie AND real life —Whip It! follows an indie-loving misfit who dashes her mom’s hopes of pageant glory by joining a roller derby league in Austin, Texas. Drew Barrymore directs and costars with leading lady Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig and Juliette Lewis. This shy teen discovers she doesn’t have to explain why she wants to dye her hair blue, swear like a pirate, or hip check a competitor on the rink. Her friends just get her.
Time to get a little weird. As a fan of the original graphic novel I can’t stress enough how awesome this cult movie is. High school grads Enid and Rebecca (played by Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) are social outsiders who play a prank on a middle-aged dude (played by Steve Buscemi) that results in an unforeseen friendship. While it’s not the healthiest of friendships, you see how much these two friends change after graduation, as they slowly grow apart.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants has a pre-Sex and the City quality to it, without the rated R bits. Four high school friends find a pair of “lucky jeans” that mysteriously fits their varying body types, so they decide to share them over the summer despite being miles away. When it comes to true friendship, distance doesn’t matter. No matter how far away you are or how long you’re apart, when you see each other again you’ll pick up right where you left off.
As if this movie wouldn’t be on the list! Loosely based off Jane Austen’s Emma, besties Cher and Dionne decide to adopt a new friend named Tai who’s totally lost in the ways of proper “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” etiquette. This matchmaker is almost too good at her job and when Tai replaces her as the most buzzed about girl at school, Cher learns to put jealousy aside and accept her friend for her differences. Friendship isn’t about th expensive bag you’re carrying or the guy you’re dating — it’s about accepting each other for who you are.
A League of Their Own
Two sisters struggle with growing rivalry when they’re recruited for the first female pro baseball league, a team called Rockford Peaches. Similar to Bend it like Beckham, these athletes prove that while friendship and competition is hard to balance, supporting each other will help your team grow stronger. Plus you get to see Madonna, Geena Davis and Tom Hanks all in one movie.
Two friends: One a bratty and uptight debutante; the other a boisterous and pessimistic New York performer. If you and your friend are polar opposites but end up balancing each other out to sheer perfection, this is the movie for you. We follow the friendship of Hillary and CC Bloom (played by Bette Midler) from their blissful childhood meeting at an Atlantic City resort to their complicated adult struggles in the city, including falling in love with the same man. If you’ve been through a lot with your friend, take comfort that you can get through the worst of times with each other until the bitter end.
Fried Green Tomatoes
You get a double hit of friendship in this movie, both unexpected. A housewife named Evelyn is unhappy with her sloppy husband and monotonous routine so she befriends an old lady in a nursing home who shares empowering tales of women she used to know — namely two friends who have a deep and sometimes borderless relationship in the 1920s. The movie will make you value your best friend’s courage and remind you to be assertive in your beliefs.
Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion
I used to plunk myself down with my middle school BFF and indulge in repeat viewings of Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion. Over and over. And I never got tired of it.Why? I think a little part of every girl wants to take revenge on anyone that used to bully her. That’s exactly what these well-intentioned friends, played by Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino, plan to do at their high school reunion. Unfortunately their alibi has holes. They slowly realize they don’t have to pretend to be anything more impressive or “socially accepted” than what they are. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you like wearing impractical pink heels and didn’t invent Post-it notes (the shame!!). You’re beautiful as you are and the girls who bullied you should have no sway over your life.
Stand By Me
Based on a short story by Stephen King, Stand By Me follows four childhood friends as they search for a friend who died in the woods. Check out Wil Wheaton pre Star Trek and Big Bang Theory, and Jerry O’Connell when he had a little baby fat on him. Sadly, one of the movies stars River Pheonix died seven years later as a teen, and this is one of his legacies.
Sex and the City
This movie is best to watch with a group of friends — four preferably — who respect each other despite being completely different in their lifestyles and opinions. The movie jumps off from the final season of the TV show, continuing the loveships, hateships, courtships and marriages. In the end, all these women really need is each other. Whether you’re single, dating or shacked up, your friend can be your anchor if you let her.
Not all movies about friendship have to be dramatic coming of age tales filled with sorrow. I first saw Kristen Wiig’s hilarious take on a struggling friend dealing with the demands of being a bridesmaid with one of my besties from primary school. The two BFFs are relatable because they don’t take themselves too seriously — ie. they will talk with their mouths full of chocolate or get drunk on an airplane because why not? Watch it before your bestie gets married to remind yourselves no matter what phase of life you’re in you should look to your friend as a confidante, not a rival.
One of my favourite books and movies of all time,The Outsidersfollows greaser Ponyboy Curtis and his friends as they battle the preppy rich kids, otherwise known as The Socs. While the friendship between these greasers is deep, the film is a reminder that characteristics that divide you from your enemies is what also draws you together. Ogle at the all-star cast: Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Esteves, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell and Diane Lane.
Thelma & Louise
Because OBVS. This movie is as tragic as it is beautiful. Starring Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis and Brad Pitt, Thelma & Louise celebrates women who know their worth and will selflessly stand up for each other in tough situations. Louise comes to the rescue of her troubled best friend Thelma by shooting her attacker in a back alley. The waitresses take off in a ’66 Thunderbird and although they’re now convicts, they’re freer than they’ve ever been in their lives. The movie will make you want to rent a vintage convertible and road trip across the States to the tunes of BB King — though hopefully under more positive circumstances.